Shift to Societal Marketing


marketing environment, marketing orientation, role of marketing, corporate social responsibility, ethics

Review the activity below or download the PDF student worksheet

Student Discussion Activity

Pressure to Shift Towards a Societal Marketing Orientation

The following exercise contains is a list of questions facing particular industries, where there is increasing expectations on them to move to a more socially responsible position.

Identify the arguments for and against – what would you recommend in each case?

  1. Should car manufacturers only produce vehicles that have maximum speed of the legal speed limit, as speeding is dangerous?
  2. Should major supermarket chains stop selling cigarettes, as they are harmful to consumers?
  3. Should mobile phone companies restrict young people (under 25 years) from entering phone contracts, so that these customers do not get into financial difficulties?
  4. Should banks remove their ATMs from clubs and casinos so that problem gamblers cannot access cash on the premises?
  5. Should fast-food chains decide NOT to market products to children (via advertising and merchandised toys with meals), particularly after they have invested millions in kid-friendly premises, menu items and in-store playgrounds?
  6. Should telephone directory pages continue to be produced physically? They both use enormous quantities of paper and many people utilize the internet to find firms and phone numbers.
  7. Should pet stores be allowed to sell live animals, as the animals are sometimes kept in poor conditions?
  8. Should department stores, car dealers, ad other retailers required to disclose how much commission their salespeople earn on sales?

Student Discussion Questions

  1. Which of the above statements do you agree with (that is, the firm should move in this direction)?
  2. What are the for/against arguments, from a firm’s perspective, of implementing some of these actions?
  3. If you were the CEO of one of the above firms, what would you actually do?

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